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The NSW Valuer General Mess

Updated: May 17, 2024

The NSW Valuer General has seen a significant change with the appointment of Sally Dale as Valuer General of NSW on 1 June 2023. Ms. Dale, who has a robust background in property valuation within both the private and public sectors, is expected to bring a wealth of experience, particularly in rating and land taxation. Her leadership skills and proven track record in managing large-scale organisational changes are anticipated to address the ongoing issues within the Valuer General's office. The Hon Steve Kamper MP, Minister for Lands and Property, expressed his confidence in Ms. Dale’s ability to set the standards and policies for the land valuation system and determine compensation in the compulsory acquisition process. This appointment is initially for 12 months, with a comprehensive recruitment process to follow for a statutory appointment of seven years.
July 6, 2021 
Flo Mitchell

The NSW Valuer General offices are making news for all the wrong reasons. Dr. David Parker, the Valuer General, has been banned from speaking to staff and is only allowed to communicate with a handful of specific people because the staff are “anxious and fearful” according to media reports. This is very bad timing, as numerous projects are being fast-tracked, particularly the Sydney Metro West train line. Compulsory acquisitions cases are being held up due to the internal problems. This has added to the already huge pile that the Valuer General has to get through. Mr. Parker's office is currently overwhelmed with this influx of new property acquisitions. For the owners and tenants with compensation claims, it also has an impact, causing extensive delays in the final determinations being issued.
This situation puts tremendous additional stress on the owners whose property is being compulsorily acquired. Some FM Legal clients have already felt the brunt of these delays, and minimal communication has been given regarding the delays. We have been able to seek advance payments from Sydney Metro to get compensation paid to the owners and tenants even without the final determination by seeking payment of 80% of previous offers. Whilst Sydney Metro has been accommodating with this, it is still an unsatisfactory position as the final outcome is sometimes needed before a decision can be made to relocate.
The process under the Just Terms Act only allows the Valuer General 45 days to issue a final decision, but yet current decisions are running at around 90 days, leaving a flaw in the Act very obvious. There is no recourse for the late decisions being issued, although interest is paid on compensation currently at the rate of 2.68%. This is small comfort for owners in this hot property market, and we hope that the Valuer General is able to overcome the problems as the impacted owners and tenants whose land has already been acquired have already suffered enough.

For more assistance and legal support regarding these issues, consult our team of Sydney lawyers who are experts in handling compulsory acquisitions and can provide the necessary guidance and representation.

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